How Students Are Affected By School Sunscreen Ban

The summer heat and sun have become a really health threat, particularly for children. Sunscreen should definitely be part of a regular routine when outdoor activities in the scorching summer heat are planned. However, many schools have banned sunscreen without a doctor’s note. The summer is early and one Washington family has learned how students are affected by the school sunscreen ban.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, sunscreen is regulated as a drug that does not need a doctor’s prescription. Doctors recommend the use of sunscreen not only for adults, but for kids too, particularly when the daily agenda has longtime exposure to the sun. However, many schools in America have banned the use of sunscreen over allergic concerns. Two girls from Washington have learned what it’s like spending time in the sun without sunscreen on the hard way.

Jesse Michener of Tacoma, Washington, has two girls: Violet and Zoe, both students with the Tacoma School District. During a field day the girls spent time in the sun and got severe sun burns because nobody had sunscreen on, given the ban. The two students had to be hospitalized.

The mother explained that Zoe is suffering from a form of albinism, making her skin very sensitive to the sun. She said she regrets not putting sunscreen on them herself before the two girls left for the field day because it was raining. Even if she had, doctors say sunscreen should be reapplied every three hours, but that’s against school policy.

“They couldn’t even reapply sunscreen without a doctor’s note. They couldn’t carry that in their backpacks” complained the mother.

Dan Voelpel, spokesman for the Tacoma School District, defends the school, saying the policy only abides by the state law. “Because so many additives in lotions and sunscreens cause allergic reaction in children, you have to really monitor that” he said.

But doctors are really worried with the policy. Dermatologist Doris Day told ABC News that childhood sunburns “dramatically” increase the risk of skin cancer later in life. “I can’t see any justification for any school to tell a child that they are not allowed to apply sunscreen” concluded Doris Day.

What do you think? Are the schools right to ban sunscreen without a doctor’s note over concern for allergic reactions?

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  1. My son received 2nd degree burns when teachers told him (on a field trip) to remove his shirt, the one I had told him to leave on. He is extremely fair.

    Why do kids have to play in the hot sun for five hours, anyway? Can’t the schools put them under umbrellas or in the shade?

    You couldn’t pay me to sit in the sun for more than 15 minutes–that’s with sunscreen and a hat–because I’m too fair.

  2. Let’s see … we can protect the 5% of the population that might be subject to an allergic reaction to sunscreen by making sure that 100% of the population is subject to sunburn. Makes sense to me!

  3. As usual nutcases want to blame liberals when it is really just the fact that 49 percent of people are below average intelligence and there are lawyers who prey on that fact: and there are administrators who are paranoid of that combination. I have been a kid or worked with them for 58 years and have yet to know of anyone who had an allergic reaction on their skin that was as bad as a sunburn. I have allergies and lots of fragrances make me sneeze but no one should have to go without skin protection because of this consequence. We need to start suing the people and lawyers who threaten legal action against normal behavior. Few years ago someone fell of the treadmill at the gym I go to and sued despite their being warnings and waivers and when the gym lowered the speed to 4 mph another lawyer member went with us and demanded the name of the plainteff and their lawyer and when we informed them we were bringing a class action lawsuit on behalf of all other members who were losing a privilige they had before the lawsuit was dropped very quickly and we got our speed back.

  4. Schools can pass out birth control pills…..a girl can get an abortion and be given any number of prescription drugs. All without parents knowing.

    But sunscreen? How dangerous is sunscreen? Taken in context, that is. Think about that one folks.

  5. The schools that require doctor’s permission for sunscreen—they are not the “left.” They are schools entrusted with the care of children and have legitimate concerns over how to deal with issues like this. Requiring this measure for sunscreen is inconvenient for parents, but it’s up to the schools to decide whether imposing such rules solves problems or creates greater problems.

  6. Welcome to lib land. How are you liking it? Next they will tell you what kind of toilet paper to use. Yeah sure…..WE are the nut cases….ok……

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